Kitchen firm tells school leavers - ‘you’re hired!’
Published by Rebecca Jackson for Rixonway Kitchens Limited in Communities
Dewsbury-based Rixonway Kitchens, the second largest employer in Kirklees, has hired two new apprentices and offered permanent positions to two more as it plays its part in offering job opportunities for young people in the region.
The manufacturer, now with 462 staff, intends to employ four more apprentices over the next 12 months to add to the three apprentices it has already taken on.
Both new apprentices are school leavers, with Laura Brentnall, 19, joining from Earlsheaton Technology College and Joshua Smith, 18, from St John Fisher Catholic High School, Leeds.
They have each been given one-year apprenticeships, with Laura working in the administration department and Joshua securing a business apprenticeship that will allow him to work across a range of departments before deciding a preference.
With the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealing the unemployment rate for 16 to 24-year-olds has risen to 21%, both were understandably delighted at securing the jobs.
Laura, from Dewsbury, said: “With competition for entry level jobs so high, I’m really pleased to have been offered this role and to be working at such a well respected company. As part of my apprenticeship I will be working towards a NVQ Business & Administration Level 2 Certificate that will enable me to develop IT, finance and customer service skills, which bodes well for my longer-term career.”
Two apprentices to have been offered permanent roles at the company have each been with Rixonway for over one year and achieved NVQ qualifications. Gemma Gibson, 20, began as an Administration Apprentice and has now been taken on as a Contract Co-Ordinator, with duties including liaising with customers and the internal design team. Jerome Austin, 19, joined the company as a Transport Office Apprentice and is now a Purchasing Planning Assistant responsible for placing orders for bought in materials.
Paul Rose, Chief Executive of Rixonway Kitchens, said: “We have experience of supporting apprentices at Rixonway and as the second biggest employer in the region see it as our duty to offer young people a good start in working life.
“The idea that manufacturing is an unskilled industry is long gone and we offer a range of career opportunities for apprentices in different areas of the business.
“Giving a chance to 16-24 year-olds that are keen and motivated to learn new skills is also a great way to build our workforce and maintain our competitive edge.”
The latest GDP figures showed that the UK manufacturing sector grew by 0.7% in the second quarter of the year with orders reaching their highest level for two years.